A birdwatching trip to Ecuador in October 2001 - Andes to Amazon! The humming bird here is the Andean Emerald. On the left is a view of  Volcanes Illiniza (5,266m) and on the right is Gorzacocha, an oxbow lake off the Rio Napo, in the Amazon basin. All photos (C) Ruth Traynor.

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Home -> Diary -> West Slope -> Old Nono Road

View from the old Nono road. Photo: Ruth TraynorAndean West Slope Diary
6 - 10 October 2001
4. The old Nono road

We spent a few hours one morning walking up from the village along the old road to Nono. The old Nono-Mindo road has the reputation of being a classic birding route, but it can only be really be covered in a vehicle. However, strolling along this track can produce some interesting birds, and we had our first view of Metallic-green Tanager along here. We also added two new hummers to our list - Wedge-billed Hummingbird (looked very dark green with a thin white collar) and White-bellied Woodstar. Blue-grey Tanager was another new bird for the trip list.

We also birded this after leaving the Lodge, with our guide who was to take us into the Cotapaxi area for a couple of days. The plan was to drive all the way along the old road to Quito. Unfortunately, a broken-down excavator blocked the road near the summit and, having taken 5 hours getting there, we had to back-track to Tandayapa, taking only 1½ hours to return.

We didn't find the birding all that intense, and we added few new species to our list, except a fast-flying White-tipped Swift, Olive Finch, Bananaquit (the only sighting of the holiday - very different from Trinidad & Tobago!), Red-headed Barbet, feeding on Secropia, and some spectacular views of three Turquoise Jays. Oh and, as we set off we heard both Wattled Guan and White-throated Quail-dove not far from Tandayapa Village. But the scenery was splendid and the drive was leisurely until we had to retreat!

The new pipeline is, unfortunately being laid across this area, and it crosses the old road on the Tandayapa side of the summit. It remains to be seen how much disturbance this contraversial pipeline will produce, but it is certain that it will add to the traffic on the road.

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